Acevedo Lecture

Gladys Emilia Acevedo Wilson left funds to establish an annual visiting lectureship in memory of William N.H. Potterton, to be presented to an English language scholar recognized by his peers, at Dean College.  Gladys Emilia Acevedo Wilson was a 1938 graduate of Dean Academy.  William N.H. Potterton was a much-loved professor.  Last night, I attended the lecture by the recipient.  Marsha Nourse, Associate Professor of Literature is the Inaugural Acevedo Literary Scholar-in-Residence Spring 2016.

I found it awe-inspiring.  I took notes when I was inspired.  A page full!  Besides subject matter, I was inspired by the format of the presentation.  As a teacher, catechist, president, facilitator, I am often giving presentations, and the variety of visual and audio aids, introductions to a speaker, and the poetry readings, gave me some new techniques to try.

Marsha Nourse led us through the years, by decade, from the founding of Dean to the present. It was the history of Dean through the eyes of poetry:

1865-1875  -  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
1875-1885  -  Walt Whitman
1885-1895  -  Emily Dickenson
1895-1905 -  Celia Thaxter
1905-1915  -  Carl Sandburg
1915-1925  -  Edna St. Vincent Millay
1925-1935  -  Langston Hughes
1935-1945  -  Elizabeth Bishop
1945-1955  -  Robert Frost
1955-1965  -  Allen Ginsberg
1965-1975  -  Robert Bly
1975-1985  -  Donald Hall
1985-1995  -  Jane Kenyon
1995-2005  -  Stanly Kunitz

Perfect.  The poets chosen to represent the various decades covered their "times" with poetic consciousness.  Looking at history through the eyes of a poet is such a change from the usual political and social view.  It was a refreshing, relaxing, and thoroughly enjoyable lecture.


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